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NWSL needs to raise their salaries for players

Maddy+Evans%2C+former+member+of+the+Orlando+Pride%2C+announced+her+retirement+last+month+from+the+NWSL.
Maddy Evans, former member of the Orlando Pride, announced her retirement last month from the NWSL.

Maddy Evans, former member of the Orlando Pride, announced her retirement last month from the NWSL.

Photo courtesy of the Orlando Pride

Photo courtesy of the Orlando Pride

Maddy Evans, former member of the Orlando Pride, announced her retirement last month from the NWSL.

Rachael McKriger, Editor In Chief

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Maddy Evans featured for only half of the 2017 National Women’s Soccer League season.

She hasn’t not featured due to an injury. Instead, Evans announced her retirement, at the age of 26, during the league’s fifth official season.

Evans has been a professional women’s footballer since 2013. She was signed originally with the Boston Breakers, and signed with the Pride last season. This year, in her fifth pro season, Evans was only making $16,000.

That’s only $1,000 more than the league minimum of $15,000. Evans isn’t a national team player as well, so her work with the Pride is where her only soccer income comes from.

“You are really putting your life on hold, in that regard, being in this league as not a national team player,” Evans said, after her last match with the Pride on August 12 against Sky Blue FC. “I’ve made it work for the past five years, and my first couple of years in the league, I was making a lot less than I make now. I’m thankful that I was able to be paid, albeit not a huge amount, to do what I love – I’m very thankful for that – but it is difficult.”

“It’s gotten better every single year, so we’re looking on the up – unfortunately, it just didn’t stay kind of caught up with where I needed to be,” Evans continued. “I feel like I’m still in form, I can play, but I look at where I want to be in three years and being here unfortunately isn’t getting me there.”

Money isn’t the only reason why Evans decided to put her five-year career on hold. However, it played a large factor. It also played a factor for the career of Amanda Dacosta, who featured in her last NWSL match on August 19 against the Orlando Pride.

Dacosta scored her first ever Boston Breakers goal in the match, but it will be the last of her career.

While Neymar makes $1 million a week at Paris Saint-Germaine, the NWSL players who aren’t national team players will continue to make close to the bare minimum. That’s a huge problem in general, but in the league, it’s like you’re invisible unless you feature on a popular national team.

Alex Morgan, Ashlyn Harris and other U.S. Women’s National Team players will make more money than players like Evans and Dacosta. In addition, they also make millions in endorsement money from brands like Nike, Adidas and other companies willing to sponsor the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup champions.

“There are a lot of players who are now still making the new minimum, or very close to it,” Evans said. “I think that if we want to see the league continue to grow, and have those players that are in the league stay in the league for 10 years, 15 years, then you’re going to have to find a way to continue to build so that players can be paid a little bit more.”

In 2016, Ella Masar left the NWSL for FC Rosengard in Sweden due to finances. She only had one cap for the U.S. Women’s National Team, but had more than seven years of women’s professional soccer experience in domestic leagues in the United States.

Her former NWSL team, the Houston Dash, couldn’t pay her what she expected. When she made her decision to leave, Masar left for personal and professional reasons, but did say money was a factor.

“It also comes to you get paid six months or you get paid year round,” Masar said. “I mean, that’s a huge change as well. You can’t pay for housing when you get $1.500 per month and you pay for housing and a car, and you’re supposed to pay for food, and then you can’t even save for the offseason so you have to do what you need to do.”

“I think that’s a huge problem, and it needs to be fixed,” Masar stated.

So what can the NWSL do? They can certainly raise the minimum higher. No player can live on $15,000 a year, even if it’s one person. Some teams can also help out with housing their players.

The NWSL only has 10 clubs. They’re expanding, and the league is getting higher ratings with their Lifetime TV partnership, and the popularity is through the roof.

Now let’s reward the players for that. They’re the ones doing all the hard work on the pitch.

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3 Comments

3 Responses to “NWSL needs to raise their salaries for players”

  1. Karen Turner on September 8th, 2017 9:27 am

    It’s all well and good saying they should earn more money but where is the money in the first place?

    The NWSL needs to do a much MUCH better job at marketing and exposing the league to generate revenue. Without money coming in, how are these players expecting more money?

    It’s not just the NWSL that need to act on this, the clubs themselves also need to do a far better job at branding their franchise.

    [Reply]

    Rachael McKriger Reply:

    I absolutely agree with your comment. It makes no sense to me why the women’s league can’t be as popular as other sports leagues in the United States. This league has some of the best players – well known or not. It’s amazing that their salaries are so low, and not in a good way. The Lifetime TV deal is a great starting point, but the NWSL needs a bigger spotlight on them. Thanks for your feedback!

    [Reply]

  2. Lewis on September 9th, 2017 11:02 pm

    The league is moving the right direction – I understand you are eager for the players to be rewarded for the efforts, but lets walk before we run. WUSA and WPS both folded because they were financial catastrophes, and I have a strong suspicion that the majority of NWSL clubs are not currently self-sufficient. A salary bump sounds like a wonderful thing on the surface, but it would very likely push certain teams to their breaking point. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

    [Reply]

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NWSL needs to raise their salaries for players